For me, IQ is probably the most important factor, when it comes to explaining the observed differences between races, groups, genders, behaviour etc. And as the research improves, so it seems to bear this out.
We have looked at the gaping IQ chasm between blacks (67) and whites (100). We have analysed the difference in male-female IQs, and now it is time to analyse the differences between actively religious people and non-believers. I know the messenger will be shot, but the facts are what they are, just facts.
The gist of the ensuing article is that there is a strong inverse correlation (strong enough as to suggest a link) between IQ and religious belief. The more religious you are, the less intelligent you tend to be; which explains a lot when we examine fundamentalist behaviour.
There is probably one exception, and this is my own view. I imagine the results hold up to a point, perhaps 80 IQ. At 67 it takes a considerable effort to read, process, store and abide by the teachings in the bible, or any other religious book. At these extremely low IQ levels, people are probably driven more by mythology and legends, as witnessed through muti killings and tribal rituals.
In 2008, intelligence researcher Helmuth Nyborg examined whether IQ relates to denomination and income, using representative data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth, which includes intelligence tests on a representative selection of American youth, where they have also replied to questions about religious belief.
His results, published in the scientific journal Intelligence demonstrated that on average, Atheists scored 1.95 IQ points higher than Agnostics, 3.82 points higher than Liberal persuasions, and 5.89 IQ points higher than Dogmatic persuasions (or actively religious folk).
He commented thus: "I'm not saying that believing in God makes you dumber. My hypothesis is that people with a low intelligence are more easily drawn toward religions, which give answers that are certain, while people with a high intelligence are more skeptical," says the professor.
The Relationship Between Countries' Belief In A God And Average IQ
Nyborg also co-authored a study with Richard Lynn, emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Ulster, which compared religious belief and average national IQs in 137 countries. The study analysed the issue from several viewpoints.
Firstly, using data from a U.S. study of 6,825 adolescents, the authors found that atheists scored 6 g-IQ points higher than those adhering to a religion.
Secondly, the authors investigated the link between religiosity and intelligence on a country level. Among the sample of 137 countries, only 23 (17%) had more than 20% of atheists, which constituted “virtually all the higher IQ countries.” The authors reported a correlation of 0.60 between atheism rates and level of intelligence, which is “highly statistically significant.” This portion of the study uses the same data set as Lynn's work IQ and the Wealth of Nations.
Commenting on the study in The Daily Telegraph, Lynn said "Why should fewer academics believe in God than the general population? I believe it is simply a matter of the IQ. Academics have higher IQs than the general population. Several Gallup poll studies of the general population have shown that those with higher IQs tend not to believe in God,"